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i'm david gregory and this is press pass, your all access pass to an extra "meet the press" conference. looking at the 2012 election and rapid rise of online news and social media and how it came to change the way campaigns are covered and run for that matter. i'm joined by ben smith of, a popular site that aims to change the face of political reporting. good to see you. >> thanks for having me. >> a hugely impactful figure on twitter as well. here we are, we have come through really the first social media election of our time. >> absolutely. >> what did that mean? >> what i think it meant was there was a political conversation that used to happen on the bus, in tv studios and
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started to happen in blogs around 2008 and if you wanted somebody to see you attacked him, you would e-mail it to him to respond. this cycle what happened, there was a centralized stream on twitter, all of these things being said were being said in this very direct way and people saying them to each other and previously outside could jump into the conversation. >> it's a level of interactivity in political dialogue became bigger than anything the traditional media could do on its own. you had traditional media doing its thing and people real time talking back and then talking to each other about it. >> and becoming -- people kind of fighting their way into the conversation on the merits of being interesting people with interesting things to say which was really cool. on the other hand people screaming their way by being psychco paths. >> we still have what could be a 51-48, relatively narrow margin
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of victory for president, even though larger in the electoral college and this is where we've been since 2000. we see this rereflected in nasty ways, a couple of examples, donald trump on election night tweeting he lost the popular vote by a lot and won the election. we should have a revolution in this country. of course the president will end up winning the popular vote. but again, just the tone of it. jack welch talking about a jobless report, unbelievable jobs numbers, these chicago guys will do anything. can't debate so change numbers. back in october. tone, ten or and message, really polarizing on twitter. >> you feel that polarization, which maybe always may have been there, lik jack welch said to somebody standing next to them or spouse or friends now popping up on twitter. we did a post on election night of people demanding obama's
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assassination, which maybe somebody might say it in a bar, and now you say it, the secret service may offer you a visit. >> the learning curve or what is it they think will happen? there's a lack of filter and it extends to politics too. here's an exchange, eric for romney, tweeting david axelrod. he says, david axelrod says romney living in hash tag madman time warp, he writes back, no, when russia was our greatest foe and etch a sketch was a toy not a political strategy. this is political warfare on twitter. >> i love that. it's fun to see that play out in public in a way where we're seeing the same thing that readers are seeing and it's a fluid engagement.
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>> wt is the -- from different parts of view. there's a journalistic piece of this and political piece and a political polarization piece. what does it do to our politics and how -- and how polarized we've become as a country when we have this as a backdrop for conversation? >> one of the really strange things, i think you can blame it not only on twitter and cable news and partisan press was that people -- it wasn't just the people had their own opinions. they did develop their own sets of facts and they widely fell for the thirry that the polls were wrong and maybe it was an error. it was interesting to see reality interseed and all of the voices yelling the polls were wrong, did not demand the numbers fell unskewed they just fell silent. >> we saw here first social media election. how did these campaigns adapt to that reaction? how did they use it?
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>> campaigns are always on cutting edge of this because it's basically the communications business and media business that they are in. their communication stops in particular where very, very aggressively engaged on twitter and very interested in shaping these reporters first impressions and seeing the stories -- did obama lose the debate. by a half hour in you could feel the consensus developed. the campaigns working hard to shape these early con sen uses arnie vent to make sure the story got out before the story finished happening. >> that's interesting. it's not like the next morning you can get a sense from the morning papers and networks what the flow was. you can see it real time. i had in the course of the debates, you know, the obama team e-mailing me saying, i saw your tweet about this. trust me, we feel, this that or the other. fighting that narrative as they see it real time. >> absolutely. >> in terms of an organizational tool, how do you think they used it? is that something that factored
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into a turnout operation? >> in 2008, barack obama tweeted once, please remember to vote. that was it. and now they are certainly using it to reach supporters and the most retweeted tweet in history that night was his tweet of an image that they had won, image of him hugging michelle and hundreds of thousands of his followers and fans retweeted that. >> we'll take a quick break and be right back with buzz feed's editor in chief, ben smith. >> tonight in this election, you, the american people, remind d us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up. we have fought our way back. and we know in our hearts that for the united states of america, the best is yet to come.
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mary gonzales had a cold, she also has asthma. so she sees her allergist who has a receptionist susan, who sees that she's due for a mammogram. mary has one that day. that's when she finds out she has a tumor. she has a successful surgery and because her health provider has an amazing connected system, she has her life. i don't know what you have but i have kaiser permanente. kaiser permanente. thrive
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we're back with more from ben smith, our first social media election. what about the impact on journalism? buzz feed, what's the mission? >> twitter is the front page, not buzz or politics but twitter. people who are intensely engaged in politics are seeing that
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conversation on twitter. to breaks news, advance the conferen conversation and do something new to people not to rewrite the story. >> that's the platform that people digest. even though in some ways it can be an ago gator, it could send you so -- >> we're hoping people see links on twitter and read them on the site and find other cool stuff. our assumption is that's what wrem are going to go. >> that determines their choices. but content still has to be a lot of content, whether on television or in print to support a platform that points you in all kinds of different directions. >> for sure. the cool thing about twitter and social media in general from a reporter's perspective, you can trick people into sharing something and trick a search engine and in terms of sharing, nobody will say this is a great story, read it, unless they think it. this is the scoop. instead it is basically for good journalism. >> you've talked about before,
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the two sides become entrenched idealogically and that you have now, talk radio then cable news and now the advent of social media platforms that are so powerful. you have this connective tissue that binds all -- the two sides together against each other, not much of a middle left, is there? >> at least there's a connection. there's no way for shawn hannity to reply to engaging host and on twitter there are those who don't talk to both sides. there's also sometimes reality check where somebody says something that is outrageously false and people on the other side can correct them and people who are partisans don't want to be wrong. there's some way for that conversation to happen. >> where does it go? how does it keep progressing do you think? >> that's a great question. twitter is a media company thinking in some ways trying to
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move towards being more of a broadcast, old school thing, having people visit twitter and see tag pages. i don't know, i think they can change very, very fast. i would hate to predict what the dominant space for the next election is going to be. >> what about journalistically and how quickly incorrect information can pro liver rate? >> saw that during sandy, one twitter user started to spread lies deliberately and it was somebody who was trusted who people developed a relationship to and thought was a source of good information. he was playing crazy pranks and they went everywhere. it's a learning curve for anybody. figuring out when somebody is true and figuring out when they are reliable in the weird case where a reliable source of yours goes and deliberately lies. that's difficult to fix in me medium. >> buzz feed also partnering with the new york times. >> we did video around the
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connections trying to pull online video and twitter conversations together. >> and where do you see that progressing to? >> i think there's a lot of opportunities for these traditional companies to -- and a lot of them are very aggressively like you guys, like the times, leapfrogging into these. in a weird way, nobody has an advantage. it's so new right now that like anyone can jump in. >> ben smith, thank you for your perspective. >> that's all for our conversation today. you can follow it all week long at stay tuned for president obama's weekly address after this short break.

Meet the Presss Press Pass
NBC November 11, 2012 11:30am-11:45am EST

News News/Business. David Gregory. An extra conversation about what's driving Washington and the nation.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Ben Smith 4, Obama 2, Jack Welch 2, Kaiser Permanente 2, David Axelrod 2, America 1, Barack Obama Tweeted 1, The Bus 1, Narrative 1, Us 1, Chicago 1, Russia 1, Unskewed 1, Sandy 1, Donald Trump 1, Mary 1, Mary Gonzales 1, Susan 1, Shawn Hannity 1, Michelle 1
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Duration 00:15:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 77 (543 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
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on 11/11/2012